In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the current generation continues to bear the scars of the post-war years. Little boys grow up believing it is their duty to become 'real men', and this shapes their perception of women's role in society and what it means to be a woman.
On a more individual level, boys who are expected to be competitive, aggressive and above-all self-reliant are reluctant to seek help in staying healthy. At worst, they smoke, drink and do drugs, engage in dangerous activities or have unprotected intercourse as a way to distinguish themselves from their peers.
In short, persisting patriarchal values underlie serious public health issues and a culture of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. To challenge these behaviours and change attitudes, the SDC has co-financed the efforts of NGO Care International in the country since 2014. This approach is based on the assumption that young men must be directly involved in efforts to prevent all forms of violence against women and to avoid becoming the victims of this violence themselves.